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Saturday, July 27 through
Saturday, August 3, 2024
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2024 Films and Events

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After a whale sinks his sailboat, Steven Callahan drifted across the Atlantic Ocean in an inflatable raft for an incredible 76 days. Forced to come to terms with his own limitations, Steven finds a strength he never knew he had. A gripping first-hand account of his NYT bestselling novel. Steve Callahan and producer Robert Sennott will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.
Jimmie and De were classmates in 1965. Jimmie transferred his senior year from an all-Black high school to an affluent white high school in Charlotte - he was their first Black football star. Decades later, a shocking discovery reconnects the men and changes both their lives. Their story rooted in the South is also America''s story - one of slavery's legacy and our current racial divide. It’s a story of healing and shows a way forward as Jimmie and De explore their binding truth.
Taemin and Minji, a couple of Korean tourists, travel to the Northern part of the United States to see the Aurora Borealis for the first time. But, after Minji mysteriously disappears, Taemin becomes the main suspect, turning the desperate search of his girlfriend into a fight to stay alive.
Over a weekend visit in Los Angeles, two first-generation Sierra Leonean American brothers navigate the changing dynamics of brotherhood after a surprise announcement.
After 20 years, Jacobo reconnects with José Luis, the priest who scarred his childhood. His heart now harbors conflicting feelings of resentment, lust and affection.
The Landrys gather for the weekend to fix up their family home in Chicago. But what starts out as a benign family get-together ends up spiraling out of control as some bombshell news threatens to tear everything apart.
A Ghanaian filmmaker follows four African undergraduates through MIT, America’s premier technological university and his alma mater. The students embark on their MIT education with individual ambitions. And while their missions are distinct, they are fueled by a common goal: to become agents of positive change back home.
In the remote mountain villages in Afghanistan, a newfound passion for skiing attracts young athletes from rival ethnic groups who showcase their resourcefulness and skill on the slopes. Equipped with minimal gear, makeshift skis, and no chairlift, a determined ski coach organizes a ski race like no other, uniting the community in a moment of joy and camaraderie. However, when their country falls to the Taliban, many of the skiers are displaced across the globe as refugees, confronted with an uncertain future.
Through a mosaic of personal stories, Counted Out shows what’s at risk if we keep the status quo. Do we want an America in which most of us don’t consider ourselves “math people”? Where math proficiency goes down as students grow up? Or do we want a country where anyone can understand the math that undergirds our society—and can help shape it. The film is dedicated to Bob Moses, the civil rights leader and MacArthur genius who saw math access as the civil rights issue of our time, and whose work we follow in some of the last filmed interviews of his life.
After the sudden deaths of her parents, Maria returns to her childhood home on Cape Cod. When her estranged brother Nico shows up to help sort out the estate, tensions soon rise about how to best sell the decrepit house.
After awkwardly coming out to her conservative parents, Asian-American teen, Twinkie, convinces her BFF Egghead to come along on a cross-country road trip to meet her online crush at a big lesbian dance party in Texas. Unfortunately, Egghead has no idea what he’s being roped into, and he just confessed his long-hidden feelings for Twinkie with disastrous results.
In July 1945, the US military detonated the world’s first nuclear bomb in White Sands, New Mexico, covering the soil and water with irradiated fallout and contaminating the land. The facts and consequences on the people have been concealed for decades, but inspirational Hispanic cancer survivor Tina Cordova has catalyzed a movement seeking justice and healthcare for the poisoned people of New Mexico still ignored by their government.
The epic journey of 7 mothers and their newborn calves from Florida to the Canadian Maritimes are followed in a deep dive into the lives of one of the most endangered whales on Earth, the North Atlantic right whale. With remarkable access, we experience the splendor and the plight of this great whale through the eyes of a closely-knit team of marine biologists, whale disentanglers, aerial survey teams, ocean advocates and indigenous leaders as they race against time to save the species from extinction.
Friday Night Party at Grumpy's Pub, featuring music by Band of Brothers.
Anxiety-ridden Walt embarks on a comic odyssey through Portland, Maine to retrieve his stolen dog before his girlfriend, Wendy, returns from her business trip, or risk losing them both. Along the way, his encounters with eccentric locals Marianne and Brent force him to confront his insecurities and embrace human (and canine!) connection.
Sequestered in a remote desert villa, the final five contestants on a reality dating show unite to confront their deceitful suitor and the producers who manipulated them into falling in love.
For decades, scientists have tried to unlock the secrets of ancient DNA. But life’s genetic blueprint is incredibly fragile, and researchers have struggled to find DNA in fossils that could survive millions of years. Then, one maverick scientist had the controversial idea to look for DNA not in fossils or frozen ancient tissue – but in dirt. Join the hunt as scientists decipher the oldest DNA ever found and reveal for the first time the genes of long-extinct creatures that once thrived in a warm, lush Arctic.
After being brutally dumped, 17-year-old Sydnie discovers she is pregnant. Seeing this as an opportunity to get her ex back and give her life direction, she decides to keep the baby. She soon realizes that this won’t be the quick fix she had hoped for and finds herself caught in a complicated love triangle and totally lost.
In the shark-filled waters off Cape Cod, Michael Packard has long tempted fate. As the region’s last-remaining commercial lobster diver, the 57-year-old has had his share of harrowing experiences, which include close encounters with great whites. But what happened to him on a routine dive was something he never imagined possible, and many around the world refused to believe. In an experience of biblical proportions, Packard was engulfed by a humpback whale, caught in the watery cavity of its massive mouth. After some 30 seconds of a pitch-black captivity, in which he expected to die, he was spit out, fins first, to the surface, where Mayo and another fisherman rescued him. The publicity was similarly dizzying for the reclusive fisherman, whose survival story spread around the world in news dispatches. But what came after the limelight dimmed was even more significant for Packard.
A recent divorcee's holiday celebration with her adult children derails when she falls for her daughter''s charming new boyfriend.
The Wards are about to lose everything due to crippling debt, when a mysterious stranger arrives, promising a new life - for the right fee. But last-minute doubts see the pair fighting for everything they were about to abandon.
Linda Perry is one of the most outspoken and recognizable artists of the past 30 years. The hat, tattoos, attitude, and of course, her massive hit single ''What''s Up?'' In the decades since that song topped the charts, Linda's been even more successful as a songwriter and producer for artists like Dolly Parton, Christina Aguilera, and Pink. But behind the fame is a vulnerable and courageous woman who dreams big but still struggles with the past and present, with fear, shame, identity, and the burdens of family.
In 1775, a formerly enslaved couple faces obstacles as they seek to settle their homestead in the eastern hills of the territory now known as Vermont. Forty miles west, rebel instigator and land speculator Ethan Allen plots to drive out New York landlords who seek to impose their rule.
Luther Vandross always believed he would be a star, but his journey to success was far from overnight. He began his career supporting industry icons like David Bowie, Roberta Flack, and Bette Midler. Despite earning platinum records and accolades, Luther initially struggled to break into mainstream success beyond the R&B charts. Driven by unwavering determination, he overcame personal and professional hurdles, ultimately establishing himself as one of the greatest vocalists in history.
Christy has been an actor, director, producer and author who has appeared in more than twenty films, including American Hustle, Joy, The Women, Ted 2, and The Forger. An active member of the Boston community and beyond, she is on the board of directors for the Associates of the Boston Public Library and co-chairs its Literary Lights committee. Her first novel, The Truth About Horses, published in August 2023, has earned significant praise in the literary world and admiration from the equestrian community. In 2021, Christy founded YouthINK, a nonprofit that connects passionate teenaged creators with leading industry creatives to provide a supportive, encouraging, and nurturing space for mentorship and artistic expression. Christy will talk about her journey and how she embraced change yet stayed in the creative sector.
Doug Blush is an award-winning director, producer, editor, writer and cinematographer whose work includes over 200 feature and television projects. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) as well as the American Cinema Editors (ACE). Credits include, as Executive Producer, the Critic’s Choice and Peabody Award- winning MR SOUL! (2020), as well as a number of Academy Award- winning documentaries: THE ELEPHANT WHISPERERS (2023), PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE (2019), ICARUS (2018), and, as supervising editor, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM (2013). Current projects include co-directing the documentary film LOS LOBOS NATIVE SONS, now in production and due for a 2025 release. Doug will give and overview of his past and current work in film and give a sneak peak preview of several projects in production including trailers, sizzles and scenes.
John de Graaf began producing documentaries in 1977 and has directed over 40 films, 15 of which have received national primetime PBS broadcasts, including the 1997 hit, AFFLUENZA. He is the recipient of more than 100 regional, national and international film awards. His film Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty is screening in the Festival on Saturday, August 3, 2024.
Maya Gabeira is the first woman to attempt to surf the giant wave in Nazaré, Portugal. She nearly drowned - and was ridiculed and ostracized by the male big wave surfers who dominate the sport. Three spine surgeries and five years later, she surfs the biggest wave a woman has ever surfed. When her accomplishment is disregarded, Maya enlists the help of her fans to fight for recognition --and becomes the first female surfer honored with a Guinness World Record.
Louie, an acclaimed writer, returns to his dilapidated hometown after his father’s death. Confronted with a deluge of people from his past, Louie is forced to reconcile with the stories he’s stolen, misrepresented, or downright exploited for profit.
Opening Night Party, featuring music by Souljah specializing in soulful rhythms and vibrant performances. Souljah is a fusion band renowned for its ability to blend soul, funk, and contemporary sounds, creating an atmosphere that resonates with diverse audiences.
Featuring artists Faith Ringgold and Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter, PAINT ME A ROAD OUT OF HERE uncovers the whitewashed history of Faith's masterpiece ''For the Women''s House'' and follows its 50-year journey from Rikers Island to the Brooklyn Museum in a heartbreaking, funny & true parable for a world without mass incarceration.
Independent filmmakers and lovers of independent cinema are facing an increasingly-changing landscape. Narrative and documentary filmmakers, producers, casting directors and distribution experts share their perspectives on where independent film is, and where it's going.
Film criticism, like the movie business in general, is evolving, for better or worse. Five members of the Boston Society of Film Critics will discuss the changing landscape and how it affects their work. They also will engage with attendees to hear what filmmakers and other moviegoers want from film critics.
Amidst the chaos and destruction of the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, three artists defiantly find inspiration and beauty as they defend their culture and their country. In a war waged by professional soldiers against ordinary civilians, Slava, Anya, and Andrey choose to stay behind, armed with their art, their cameras, and, for the first time in their lives, their guns. Despite daily shelling, Anya finds resistance and purpose in her art, Andrey takes the dangerous journey to get his young family to safety abroad, and Slava becomes a weapons instructor for ordinary people who have become unlikely soldiers. As the war intensifies, Andrey picks up his camera to film their story, and on tiny porcelain figurines, Anya and Slava capture their idyllic past, uncertain present and hope for the future.
Disciplined high school athlete Dakota Riley lives his life within carefully-designed boundaries, a calculated blueprint upon which he’s formed the basis of his identity. But when the reality of his identity is thrown into disarray, Dakota is forced to confront the consequences of denying himself, or come to terms with who he really is.
Over her 89 years, journalist, vice-presidential advisor, White House official, author, humorist, political activist, and feminist leader Liz Carpenter was often front and center where history was unfolding, leaving her own indelible mark and pushing forward an agenda for women’s rights, political engagement, and the environment that is highly relevant today.
Bienvenidos a Los Angeles, Yaya, The Innkeeper, Save the Cat, Lichtblick - Glimmer of Hope, My Father's Name
The Natural, Lunchbox, Looking Forward, KISS, Hello?, Da's, Deep Tish, Days of Hate
Dérive, Scratch-Off, Until He's Back, The Heart of Texas
The Queenʻs Flowers, Out of the Dark: Jaleen Roberts, Jane's in the Freezer, Chicho, A Dreamer, Barely Breathing, A Day In The Life
Single Malt, Losing It, Golden Child, [subtext], 5 A.M., Egg Timer, Crisis, Dragon Agent-Wreckers of Boston
Anyuka, Big George, What Happened To You, Stalled In Eight Etudes, Forward
Valley of Souls, The Lure, The Chain, Spoor, Neo Dome, Nap, Cetology, I Wanna Be A Statue
Elephant, The Unseen, The Bee, Spear. Spatula. Submarine., Gath & K'iyh: Listen to Heal, Forbidden Pond, Footprints on Katmai, Light at the Edge of the Universe: The Black Hole Explorer
A Family Portrait, Queens, Break/Fix, Dog Days, My Dear Aunt Sally, Sally, Get the Potatoes, Sparkle, Tidy House
The Lost Weekend, The Day Keeper, Smile, Gorgeous, She, Who Dared
A mythical cowboy appears in the corrupt logging town of Sourdough Creek, and with the aid of his slide guitar and a giant Hellbug, battles the evil mayor and his equally selfish twin brother to try to clean up the town .
Lino Tagliapietra is widely held as the greatest master glassblower in history, beloved by millions across the globe. He began his journey with glass at the age of 11 as a factory worker in Murano, Italy, and now at 88, he prepares for his final hot shop session while grappling with age, identity and the struggle of watching his protégés continue his legacy as his famed career comes to a close.
Stewart Udall, America's most famous Secretary of Interior, was also a fighter for racial justice, peace, the arts, and environmental protections.
Follows three stars of the new ''golden age'' of kids lit— as they push boundaries and create experimental work that reflects the mysteries of childhood, champions the marginalized, and provides children with windows and mirrors, even when the creators' own lives are not fairy tales. Through rare archival, untapped insights, and stop-motion paper animation, we also come to understand why classics such as “Goodnight Moon,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” and “The Snowy Day” changed the art form and stand the test of time.
In 2021, evidence of unmarked graves was discovered on the grounds of an Indian residential school run by the Catholic Church in Canada. After years of silence, the forced separation, assimilation and abuse many children experienced at these segregated boarding schools was brought to light, sparking a national outcry against a system designed to destroy Indigenous communities. Set amidst a groundbreaking investigation, SUGARCANE illuminates the beauty of a community breaking cycles of intergenerational trauma and finding the strength to persevere.
In the segregated Memphis of the 1960s, blues masters and beatniks created a music festival that rocked the foundations of a conservative world. The Blues Society weaves together hypnotic and unforgettable performances with animation, archival images, and a chorus of diverse voices to create a moving image mixtape that both celebrates the music and re-evaluates the era.
In Baltimore, Brandon Scott, an idealistic young leader with an ambitious plan to stop chronic violence in the city, is elected mayor. Throughout his first year in office, he fights powerful political forces to save lives in Baltimore and reveal a pathway toward healing for the nation.
An impassioned surfer creates a functional surfboard with 10,000 littered cigarette butts collected from California beaches. The surfboard becomes a global platform to spark ocean stewardship and the symbol of a grassroots campaign to hold Big Tobacco accountable for their toxic, plastic waste.
Javi, an undocumented immigrant facing imminent deportation, unexpectedly reunites with his long-lost best friend, Hunter, a vivacious bachelor seeking deeper connections. Together, they embark on a heartfelt journey to prevent Javi's expulsion from the only country he has ever called home.
In the internet era, the dream of the struggling artist is to go viral. That’s what happened to Philip Labes, a singer-songwriter who found a following on TikTok after posting his clever, heartfelt songs during the pandemic. When his music reached the ears of one of his heroes, Grammy-winner Jason Mraz, he was invited on his very first tour and a chance to play live in front of thousands - a chance he hopes will lead to a real career in music where he isn’t relying on the whims of an algorithm.
Over the course of a night, a storyteller captures bar patrons with his tale of mysterious magic and petty crime. As new customers enter the bar and new events unfold in the story, we dive into the listener’s imaginations to reveal a unique version of the oddball characters the rhapsodist has created.
Tragedy strikes a Syrian family in Aleppo, starting a chain reaction of events involving five different families in four different countries.
Amidst the redwood trees on the California-Oregon border sits one of the most infamous prisons in US history. Pelican Bay is a labyrinthine construction of solid cement blocks – a supermax prison designed specifically for mass-scale solitary confinement. For decades, it held men alone in tiny cells indefinitely. Then one day in 2013, 30,000 prisoners, against all odds, launched the largest hunger strike in U.S. history.
Chris Johns made some of the the most recognizable pictures of our time. He's the only field photographer to rise through the ranks of National Geographic to become Editor-In-Chief, heading the world's most iconic magazine during a period of industry disruption, digital transformation and ecological crises. After spending a career as a journalist walking the tightrope between worry and wonder, he's now being shadowed by a visual artist with her own distinct ethos. His daughter Louise Johns, who picked up a camera as a child during her father's last field assignment, is shaping her own photography vision one image at a time.
In 1970, at the height of the sexual revolution, Bobbie is determined to lose her virginity on the day of her 17th birthday, but she will lose more than that. When she discovers her mother’s infidelity and acts out furiously, she sets off a chain of confrontations that forces her father and mother to face their own insecurities as accomplished middle-class intellectuals. On each of their birthdays, hopes are dashed, and secrets revealed.
Thursday Night Mixer at The Leeside, featuring music by the Catie Flynn Duo featuring singer songwriter Catie Flynn and Pat Croke.
Jamshid is an Iranian who came to study in 1970’s America, but due to the Revolution, never went “home.” As a guidance counselor in Seattle, his best work takes place on the playing field with “his kids,” the children of refugees and immigrants. Mr. Jamshid is the charismatic, fiery, funny human with a Frisbee in hand, who shows that love wins on the field, off the field, at home with family, or boldly forging a new community, in a new country - one kid, chicken, ultra-endurance race, and friend at a time.
A story of courage and determination, betrayal and corruption, death threats and murder, and of unexpected victories in the countryside and in the courts, that asks how economic development can grow in harmony with environmental protections and why we tolerate unbridled greed and profiteering at the expense of human life and our precious planet. Above all, Water For Life illuminates a growing recognition of Indigenous rights and a rising demand for corporate responsibility and environmental justice that’s being seen around the world.
Rayelle Martin, a commercial cleaning woman in Gary, Indiana, stumbles into a new job cleaning the homes of several rich, suburban families. While working, she impulsively tells one small lie, and subsequently finds herself in an odd new position of power.
Wednesday Night Party at the Captain Kidd, featuring music by Liam and Johnny: Guitar-slingin’, harmony-singin’, vibe-bringin’ hombres. Their wheelhouse is the classic Americana, country-rock and folk-rock songbook of the 60’s & 70’s.
Alecia Orsini is an award winning and multi-media professional with 18 years of experience working in the film industry. Alecia is a prominent voice in the region's film community as President Emerita of Women in Film and Video of New England. She will host a workshop on making a living in independent film. Is it a hobby or a profession what skills do you need to work in this sector of the economy.